Premium womenswear etailer My-Wardrobe is set to collaborate with up-and-coming local brands in the US later this year as it continues its successful assault on that market, as part of its wider international push.
Speaking at the Drapers Ecommerce Summit 2013 chief executive David Worby told delegates that the collaboration – the details of which will be announced later this year – is a good fit with the business’ strategy to focus on “slightly cool, slightly edgy and slightly less distributed brands” with the aim of introducing them to a global audience.
This form’s part of My-Wardrobe’s aim to grow its overseas business, which already accounts for 30% of its revenues.
Speaking about the etailer’s journey over the past two years Worby spoke of a series of “trials and errors” as My-Wardrobe has learnt how best to operate in the eight territories in which it is present, and urged delegates to take a market specific and varied approach to global markets, tailoring their offer to suit the needs of local consumers.
He used the Swedish market as an example, where a year ago My-Wardrobe took the decision to translate its site into Swedish, to the tune of a £150,000 investment over six months. “After a six month trial we scratched our heads and asked why this is not working? So we took the Swedish translation out, put in English and guess what happened. We were very pleased with the results.”
The business has also opened a store in Norway, which he said is yielding positive results.
The business underwent a similar learning curve in Germany, where introducing its normal payment methods didn’t work because over 50% of payments are via open invoice, and in the US, where local customers don’t want to buy American brands.
Worby added that the Middle East, where My-Wardrobe currently has a satellite office, “has not been easy”. He said: “Our performance out there is not generating the kind of results we would expect in the first 18 months, but our exploits into Northern Europe and Australia and the US have been highly successful.”
He said My-Wardrobe’s success overseas is down to listening to consumers. “The way we present ourselves in those eight different territories we’re focusing on is very different. The timing of the commercial calendar, the seasons, the climate, the culture, they’re all different. And that is bringing some great results.”